Annual general meeting: care and service quality and patient satisfaction at the top of priorities

Bathurst, June 23, 2015 – Vitalité Health Network held its 2014-2015 annual general meeting in Bathurst, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. In spite of challenges, care and service quality as well as patient satisfaction have been at the top of priorities throughout the year.

Ongoing work to renew the health care system

In his annual report, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Paul Couturier, indicated that work had been done to pursue the efforts undertaken the previous year to renew the health care system and ensure its long-term sustainability. He also stressed that besides care and service quality and patient satisfaction, other elements had not been forgotten. “Much attention was also paid to financial elements, as well as operational factors and human resources,” he said. The Chairman stressed the hard work done to develop a clinical service plan for the Network. According to him, it is an ambitious but essential project that will help identify the most appropriate clinical services to be established in order to meet the population’s health needs and ensure equitable access to these services using the financial, human, and physical resources available. “Difficult decisions will have to be made and changes are to be expected but with good will, open-mindedness, and collaboration from all parties involved, we are sure of coming up with a fact-based plan to maintain sustainable services and financial viability,” he concluded.

Emphasis on care and service quality and patient satisfaction

In his report, the Network President and Chief Executive Officer, Jean Castonguay, stressed that during a period of organizational transformation, it was crucial to maintain the highest possible quality standards and to listen to patient feedback. “This is why the Network initiated targeted surveys of outpatients. They have become part of the Network's satisfaction improvement activities, which already include a monthly satisfaction survey of inpatients,” said the President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Network achieved or exceeded its targets on 9 of the 18 quality and patient satisfaction indicators. “Our results are therefore highly positive this year,” said Castonguay.

Focus on performance improvement

The Network presented the key results in regard to operational cost control.

  • Operating surplus of $3.8 million at the end of the 2014-2015 fiscal year
  • Achievement of the objectives set in the three-year plan to improve performance and productivity:
    • Operational improvements that generated savings of $9.6 million;
    • Reduction of 171.5 FTEs (full time equivalents).
  • Overtime: 4.6% increase
  • Sick leave: 3.7% drop

Infrastructure and equipment renewal projects

Substantial strategic investments in infrastructure and equipment were made in 2014-2105. A number of projects were completed, including the new Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton (public-private partnership project of $150 million), the Breast Health Centre in Moncton ($9 million), the building for Addiction Services in Edmundston ($6.7 million), the new CT scan unit at the Tracadie-Sheila Hospital ($800,000), and the new digital mammography unit ($291,500) at the Enfant-Jésus RHSJ† Hospital.

New developments

Latest additions to the care and services provided by the Network include:

  • New healthy food environments policy;
  • Online telestroke technology available in five hospital facilities;
  • Reorganized oncology services delivery in Edmundston;
  • Home telecare services for Extra-Mural Program patients.